BUI suspect to enter plea

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SANDPOINT — A Washington state man who collided with a tuber on the Pend Oreille River near Strong Island is scheduled to enter a plea later this month.

The hearing in William Riley Devine’s case comes about six months after he pleaded not guilty to aggravated boating under the influence. The entry of plea hearing is set for March 31 in 1st District Court.

Devine told sheriff’s deputies he was trailing a vessel as it weaved in the river while pulling an inflatable tube. The boat pulling the tube suddenly slowed, causing Devine to crash into a woman on the tube. The collision happened on July 3, 2016,

A 27-year-old woman from Colfax, Wash., was airlifted from the scene and taken to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane. She was hospitalized in intensive care with facial fractures and bleeding in her brain, according to court documents. However, doctors said she was expected to recover from her injuries.

Devine’s blood alcohol concentration was measured at 0.17, 0.13 and 0,15 — well over the legal limit to operate a vessel of 0.08, an arrest report said.

Devine, a 22-year-old from Pullman, was scheduled to be tried on the felony BUI charge late last year, although the proceedings were postponed amid negotiations aimed at resolving the case without the need for a trial.

“More time is needed to finalize negotiations,” Devine’s defense counsel, Spokane attorney Chris Bugbee, said in a motion to continue.

If Devine is ultimately convicted on the offense he was originally charged with, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. His motorboat operator privileges could also be suspended for up to two years.

Devine is free on $2,000 bail while his case is pending.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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